Interview with Peggy Robinette, June 3, 1987

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:07 - Role as nurse aide

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Partial Transcript: Okay, you were just telling me about, um, going to Nashville. Why don't you just tell me that story to start with?

Segment Synopsis: Robinette discusses her role as a nurse's aid at Pikeville Methodist Hospital, including her duties and complaints (especially under-staffing). She also talks briefly about the strikers' trips to garner support.

Keywords: Aides; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Healthcare; Methodists; Paul Walker; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Staffing; Travel; Unionization; United Methodist Church

Subjects: Communications Workers of America.; Hospital and community.; Hospital care--United States.; Medical care--Kentucky; Nursing.; Occupations; Salaries; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky

00:16:55 - Unionization efforts

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Partial Transcript: So, when was it that you started talking union?

Segment Synopsis: Robinette discusses the organizing efforts for the union, like signing cards. She also talks about the lack of involvement by registered nurses in the strike.

Keywords: Aides; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Protests; Registered nurses (RNs); Union cards; Unionization; Unions

Subjects: Communications Workers of America.; Hospital and community.; Medical care--Kentucky; Occupations.; Picketing.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky

00:23:58 - Picketing / Strikebreakers

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Partial Transcript: Well, um, how'd you--what happened when, when the strike actually came? Were you working the day of the strike?

Segment Synopsis: Robinette discusses the conditions of the picket line and the strikers' interactions with strikebreakers, especially UMWA members. She also talks about how the strikers adjusted their lives, like getting more jobs and childcare.

Keywords: "Scabs" (strikebreakers); Colleagues; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Households; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Scabs; Unionization; Unions; United Mine Workers of America (UMWA); Working conditions

Subjects: Communications Workers of America.; Labor unions--Strike benefits; Medical care--Kentucky; Picketing.; Strikebreakers; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky

00:34:18 - Protest escalation at Pikeville Methodist Hospital

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Partial Transcript: I'd would have to liked to done more of--that's why Lonnie blasted me out all the time--um, I would have liked to done more agitation than what we did.

Segment Synopsis: Robinette talks about the strikers' march to the hospital, acting outside of CWA's prerogative. She discusses the treatment by the police, including how it resulted in Lois Scott's head injury.

Keywords: Communications Workers of America (CWA); Lois Scott; Lonnie Daniels; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Roger Burgess; State police; Unionization; Unions; United Mine Workers of America (UMWA); Violence

Subjects: Communications Workers of America.; Labor unions--Strike benefits; Picketing.; Protest movements.; Strikebreakers; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky; United States--Trials, litigation, etc.

00:43:42 - Union trips / Complaints against CWA and UMWA leaderships

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Partial Transcript: Why was Lonnie like that?

Segment Synopsis: Robinette discusses traveling to Methodist communities to increase pressure on the hospital, as well as the issues with CWA and UMWA leaders (Lonnie Daniels and Arnold Miller, respectively).

Keywords: Arnold Miller; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Conferences; Harry Patrick; Informational pickets; Lonnie Daniels; Methodists; Organizing; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Staff; Travel; United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)

Subjects: Collective labor agreements; Communications Workers of America.; Hospital and community.; Medical care--Kentucky; Methodist Church; Picketing.; Women political activists

00:59:41 - Involvement in strike

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Partial Transcript: I'm asking everybody to try to think back and list out everything they did to try to win the strike. What are some of the other things you did?

Segment Synopsis: Robinette talks about the various ways she was helping further the strikers' cause, including talking to hospital board members and strike meetings. She also talks about the hospital during the strike.

Keywords: Board members; Boycotts; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Doctors; Ernest Elliott; Fundraising; Opal Burns; Organizing; Picket lines; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Road blocks; Roger Mead; Staff; The Landmark; Unions; Willard Morrison; Working conditions

Subjects: Communications Workers of America.; Hospitals--Employees--Salaries, etc.; Medical care--Kentucky; Occupations.; Picketing.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky

01:16:29 - Family

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Partial Transcript: Well, it sounds like you were out a lot. Who was taking care of the kids?

Segment Synopsis: Robinette discusses how she maintained her home life while being heavily involved in the strike. She also talks about her husband and his death.

Keywords: Children; Households; Kids; Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Terminations; Unionization; Unions; Virgil Robinette; Widows; Workplaces

Subjects: Communications Workers of America.; Families.; Hospital and community.; Labor unions--Strike benefits; Occupations.; Picketing.; Strikes and lockouts--Kentucky